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Update: Match Racing at NYC
July 28th, 2011 @ 04:43 PM EST by admin

What a great season of Match Racing we have underway! Training began in chilly early April and we enjoyed the training grounds of an empty Toronto Harbor, which on these beautiful summer days is hard to imagine. This update is to share the progress of the NYC Match Racing Club, the successes of the NYC men’s team and NYC women’s team, to thank all those involved in the donation of time and boats, and to encourage you to get involved.

NYC Match Racing Club

The NYC Match Racing Club is available to all NYC members. Match racing is currently taking place on pairs of Lightnings and J22’s which have been loaned to the match racers through the generosity of members.

A growing group of NYC sailors and volunteers have been learning the match racing game on Monday nights in the waters just outside the NYC break-wall. Each evening we do many practice starts and several full races. The start sequences are 7 minutes, and the races last ten minutes, so we’re able to rotate people through the boats and get lots of action in.

Come out and join us… you’ll have a blast! No match racing background is needed. If you are intrigued but don’t want to race, come and help Annie Mitchell run the races or Bruce Brown with on-the-water umpiring. If you have a boat that could be available for training, let us know. We invite you to get involved with the Match Racing Club! Please contact matchracing@thenyc.com.

Team National YC

In 2010, the men’s team of Magnus Sandberg, Chris Clarke and Roland Van Hazel competed in Buffalo, Detroit (twice), Sheboygan (twice) and at neighboring Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC). The points gained in 2010 and 2011 regattas have Team National YC ranked 18th in North America, and 2nd in Canada.

The new Team National YC of Magnus, Chris, Jason Hearst, and Gordo Delgaty-Cook are representing NYC in 2011. The team competed in two spring invitational regattas in Detroit and Buffalo in the familiar Ultimate 20s and J22s. The team benefited from coaching from Dave Perry (US Olympic Match Racing Coach) at a pre-regatta clinic in Buffalo, and from competing against some of the top ranked match racers in the world at the events.

The men just returned from the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) where they competed in the invitational Eurex Match Cup. CMRC always hosts great events and has a great set up including: Americas Cup experienced umpires, live video broadcasting with Dobbs Davis as commentator, press conferences, and each boat has a sponsor onboard as spectator who is assigned a confined spot at the stern. Team National YC faced tough competition with top raked competitors from four countries including Australia. The Tom28s proved to be a difficult boat to learn quickly, and the results from the first two days showed it. On the third day they won two of the three remaining races in round robins, and then won two of three races in the consolation round. Good for 6th place overall. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KDLFYhfmk0&feature=player_detailpage

for a great highlight video of the event.

The opportunity to sail the Tom28s at this regatta, and again in the upcoming Autumn A and Autumn B regattas, will be important. The team hopes to represent NYC and Lake Ontario in the 2011 Richardson Trophy regatta, as Magnus, Chris, Jason and Bob Magtanong did in 2010. The Richardson Trophy regatta, hosted by the CMRC and sailed in the Tom28s in 2011, is the de facto Great Lakes match racing championship and only sailors from the Great Lakes are invited.

The team will represent NYC at the York Cup hosted by RCYC, and hopes to be invited to compete in the Canadian Match Racing Championship (also at RCYC). These regattas will be sailed in RCYC’s Sonar fleet.

Team National YC has been invited to two upcoming events at the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Long Island Sound NY, and one includes another two-day clinic with Dave Perry. These events will be sailed in the incredible Swedish Match 40s.

All of these match racing centers have wonderful volunteers that make them work, and provide high quality training and racing to sailors. Volunteers Bruce and Annie traveled with the men’s team to the Eurex Cup Regatta at CMRC and worked as Umpire and Race Officer. They and the team are working hard to bring lessons learned to the NYC Match Racing Club to improve training and racing.

Team Shewfelt

The NYC women’s team has been re-formed this year and in only a few short weeks of intense training Anne Marie Shewfelt, Chantal Hearst, Martha Rafuse, and Emma Van Steen have placed 3rd at the Canadian Women’s Match Racing Championships sailed at RCYC in Sonars. The Canadian Women’s Match racing event was a qualifying regatta for the World’s qualifier in September which will determine which Canadian team will compete at the Match Racing World’s in Perth Australia in December 2011. The 2011 World’s is the final country qualifier for the 2012 Olympics with no more than 1 invitation per qualifying country for Women’s Match Racing. The Elliot 6m is the 2012 Olympic class boat for Women’s Match racing. With their success at this past weekend’s event, the NYC Women’s team now qualifies for some training time on the only two Elliot 6m boats in Canada which are housed at RCYC.

Anne Marie has a 2.4mR at NYC and finished 2nd in it at the TSCC icebreaker regatta earlier this year. She has sailed in numerous fleets nationally and internationally and campaigned in prior years in the Yngling. She co-founded the NYC match racing club in 2009/2010 in her pursuit of this new 2012 Women’s Match Racing event.

Anne Marie’s first success in Match Racing came in 2000 when she won the Gay Lynn Memorial Trophy at the Santa Maria Cup (highest finish for a first time skipper to the Grade 1 event, racing against pros like Betsy Alison, Dawn Riley, and Liz Baylis).

This past weekend (July 16/17), her new team showed a lot of potential against the top two Canadian teams, and they celebrated their 3rd overall finish with their supporters back at NYC with the bottle of Champagne they won! She said “With two new match racers on board, our team couldn’t have done so well without the awesome coaching of Chris Clarke, thanks again Chris!”

The NYC Women’s team was the only team to beat the overall 1st place team at the Canadian’s regatta – they crushed Jen Provan’s team in the start and controlled the dog fight from start to finish. Jen Provan’s team has been sailing together for years with regular access to the Sonars that were used for the competition. Jen and her team competed in the 2008 Olympics in the Yngling, and Jen sailed in the 470 class at the 2004 Olympics.

Anne Marie’s team also showed competitive performance against Sharon Ferris’ team, which placed 2nd overall. Sharon is a new addition to Match Racing in Canada. She competed in the 2004 Olympics for New Zealand in the Yngling. Although she was ranked top 10 in the World prior to the 2008 Olympics, New Zealand did not send her to the games in 2008, which influenced her decision for 2012. She will now be racing in Canada, claiming a birth right in order to challenge for the 2012 Canadian Olympic berth.

With 8 weeks to train before the World’s qualifier it is the NYC Women’s team’s goal to sail as much as possible and to develop consistency at the high performance level. They are hoping for the ongoing support of their existing training partners, coach, volunteers, and boat donors, and they are looking for more high performance sailors to train with.

Thank you!

Thank yous go out to NYC members Dave Sprague, Steven Jones and Chris Hobbs for the use of their boats for training and racing. Special thanks also go to NYC for its support of the match racing club through the use of club equipment like radios, Brigs, and Dragon Lady. Many thanks also go to Steven Woods, Bruce Brown, Ann Mitchel, Chris Clarke, and Dave Sprague for the volunteer hours invested in this.

Sponsorship and Marketing opportunities

The NYC Match Racing Club and both NYC teams are seeking sponsorship. Contact matchracing@thenyc.com and set up a meeting to explore ways to support match racing, Olympic Dreams, and to benefit from targeted marketing.